Tuesday, January 10, 2006


Olivia's First Birthday

December was a big month for us--- Brendan turned 5, Olivia turned 1, Stella turned 2 and I had the opportunity to visit with my family and friends on more than one occaision.

Unfortunately, in order to do so, I had to fly US Air. In the month of Dec. 2005, I took 8 different US Airways flights. None of them were on time. Three had mechanical delays, one had to return to TLH halfway to Charlotte because the ground crew neglected to shut an exterior hatch panel, my luggage was lost three times, the wheels were broken off 2 different suitcases, and I arrived 11 hours late on Christmas Eve and 24 hours late on New Year's Day.

Despite scheduling my flights well in advance with plenty of "slush" time, I missed Christmas Eve with my family, New Year's Eve with my friends, a going away party for a friend being sent to Iraq, 2 business meetings and the funeral of another family friend. The only people NOT surprised by the crappy service of US Air were my business associates. When I called to tell them that I was delayed (again) in the Charlotte airport, they laughed, "Useless Air Strikes Again" and we conducted the meeting via conference call while I sat in the BOA business lounge in the airport. Until my cell phone battery died.

Moral of the Story: Do Not Fly US Air if you want to arrive on time and with your luggage intact. Carry everything important on your person--- and that includes the WALL charger for your cellphone.

Oh, and when you are stuck in Charlotte in the airport, if you're not entitled to hang out in the frequent flyer lounges for an air carrier, the BOA business lounge is just about the best place to hang out-- wireless internet, decent chairs and desks with outlets, and just about the right balance of proximity to and distance from the shops and restaurants. There is no wireless internet connection at the departure gates in CLT that I could find.

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